The following are Professor JW Bailly’s Must See artworks in Miami. The list is comprised of one artwork or artifact per Miami Art Institution. The list is entirely subjective and intended to begin a conversation, not to end one. Bailly is a professor in the FIU Honors College and an artist.
Bailly Must: Ugo Rondinone’s “Miami Mountain” is ironically the perfect mountain for a city with no mountains. Alluding to the traditional stacking of rocks to denote walking paths in undeveloped areas, Rondinone “creates a sense of romantic minimalism.”
Bailly Must: The Deering Estate collection contains a medieval stained glass of the finest quality. “The Flight Into Egypt” is stylistically reminiscent of Sainte-Chapelle.
DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION
Bailly Must: The de la Cruz is the best place to experience the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Viewers are invited to actually take a part of Gonzalez’s work with them, selecting a paper from one of the piles for free or a piece of candy.
FROST ART MUSEUM AT FIU
Bailly Must: Although not in the Frost Art Museum proper, Carlos Alfonzo’s “Brainstorm” is a monumental work by one of Miami’s defining artists. The ceramic tile mosaic on FIU’s campus can be found at the Engineering and Computer Sciences Building.
Bailly Must: It’s not a pleasant work, but it’s an important one. The “White Passengers Seat From Front” artifact in the trolley serves as an important reminder of the history of dehumanization in the USA.
Bailly Must: The ICA’s Kusama, “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” is a powerful experience, particularly because the institution controls access to preserve the integrity of the experience.
JEWISH MUSEUM OF FLORIDA-FIU
Bailly Must: The stained glass inside the old synagogue creates a unique luminosity. One panel in particular is of historic interest. It bears the inscription “Generous Contributor Meyer Lansky.” Lansky was linked to organized crime throughout the twentieth century.
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
LOWE ART MUSEUM AT UM
Bailly Must: The Lowe has a true Master’s work. El Greco’s “Christ Carrying the Cross” is the best painting you will see in Miami. Notice the dramatic lighting and painterly texture.
MARGULIES COLLECTION AT THE WAREHOUSE
Bailly Must: The powerful presence of Magdalena Abakanowicz’s “Hurma” is accentuated by the professional installation of the work. It has room to exist in its own space. Stand alone in silence and think of the lost generations of humanity.
MOAD AT MDC
Bailly Must: The structure of The Freedom Tower is something to behold in itself. Based on the Giralda Bell Tower in Sevilla, this tower served as a processing center for thousands of Cuban immigrants. It is known as the Ellis Island of the South.
MOCA-MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Bailly Must: Interactive, multidisciplinary, and vibrant, the work of the TM Sisters (Natasha & Monica Lopez de la Victoria) captures an essence of Miami.
PAMM – PEREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI
Bailly Must: “Penetrable BBL Blue 2/8” by Jesús Rafael Soto is probably the most photographed and popular artwork in Miami. This is because Soto immerses and transports the viewer. Soto’s own words describe this: “My goal was to create the effect of having the individual and the world in a different spot than they were initially because they’ve both been absorbed by one another. The only thing that’s left is the perceptual impression of fullness.”
Bailly Must: The Miami Artists Trifecta (Bailly subjective) is complete at the Rubell Museum. The incredible collection of Purvis Young enables viewers to appreciate his expressive handling of paint.
VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDENS
Bailly Must: The stained glass in the south facing loggia creates an effect of luminosity and color that is quite moving. The glass wall also contains the two different symbols of Vizcaya—the Spanish caravel and the seahorse (Bailly votes seahorse).
THE WOLFSONIAN FIU
Bailly Must: South Beach is Art Deco and Art Deco is South Beach. The Frozen Fountain relief sculpture in the lobby of the Wolfsonian is the best example in Miami that proves that Art Deco is not only an architectural style.